Archive for the ‘Polaris’ Category

Factor X #2 of 4

January 26, 2015

Factor X 2 of 4John Francis Moore // Steve Epting
April 1995
***

While rival Havok scowls, Cyclops plays the antihero, smuggling a mad Polaris from NYC’s mutant dungeons. Epting, who marries Mazzucchelli’s grit to ’90s over-lineated posing, may be a strong Marvel artist of the Image Era, but oy! his dystopic redesign of Cyke: long, ‘badass’ hair & a motorcycle!

last issue: Factor X #1 of 4
next issue: Factor X #3 of 4

also indexed for Apr. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #2 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #2 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #2 of 4
Generation Next #2 of 4
Weapon X #2 of 4
X-Calibre #2 of 4
X-Man #2

Advertisements

X-Factor #109

January 5, 2015

X-Factor 109John Francis Moore & Todd DeZago // Jan Duursema
December 1994
*

By pitting the govt.-sanctioned mutant team against their Claremont forerunners, Moore et al could’ve added complexity to this mag’s concept. Instead they offer strike-force comics w/ macho posturing & overwrought dialogue. Then an autistic teen mutant cleans their clock & babbles nonsensically.

last issue: X-Factor #108
next issue: X-Factor #110

also indexed for Dec. ’94
The Uncanny X-Men #119

X-Factor #108

January 4, 2015

X-Factor 108John Francis Moore & Todd DeZago // Jan Duursema
November 1994
*

Nick Fury & Forge send the US govt. team to Israel in pursuit of Mystique, who aims to murder her late lover’s killer: the comatose, schizoid son of Prof Xavier. Sadly, Duursema (a woman) follows sexist ’90s conventions, drawing conical breasts & disproportionately long legs in the period Jim Lee style.

last issue: X-Factor #107
next issue: X-Factor #109

Guardians of the Galaxy #13

April 30, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 13Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
June 2009
****

The huge cast reunites to play diplomat in the War of Kings maxiseries, sending a delegation to each side (an echo of Galactic Storm). To the writers’ credit, they pack a lot of action into one issue—starting w/ a bar brawl—and they give nearly every character a particular voice and perspective.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #12
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #14

also indexed for Jun. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2 of 5
Nova #24
War of Kings #2 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4

War of Kings: Warriors #2 of 2

April 21, 2014

War of Kings - Warriors 2 of 2A-story: Jay Faerber // Adriana Melo
B-story: Jay Faerber // Ramon Perez
October 2009
A-story: * // B-story: *

Another anthology of tossed-out filler to supplement the latest Marvel space opera. Plot A, starring a former Avenger, offers an insultingly pat solution to topical US quandaries like terrorist attacks by civilians & occupation by “good guys”. Plot B is generic backstory of an already-dead empress.

last issue: War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

also indexed for Oct. ’09
Fantastic Four #570
Guardians of the Galaxy #17
Nova #28
War of Kings #6 of 6

War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4

April 18, 2014

War of Kings - Ascension 4 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
September 2009
***

DnA revitalize a minor ’90s hero by intertwining his mini with their big WoK maxiseries. The mission is an echo of their fine revival of Nova: a young hero is the last member of an intergalactic force. But Darkhawk’s fellows were a malevolent conspiracy & he must clear his reputation w/ heroics.

last issue: War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4
see also War of Kings #5 of 6

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #16
Nova #27
War of Kings #5 of 6
War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4

April 17, 2014

War of Kings - Ascension 3 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
August 2009
***

Solid momentum & adequate art adds to the ’80s style retcon for Darkhawk. Sentient armor has trapped generic protag Chris Powell in a weird limbo while it assassinates the Shi’ar Empress over in WoK #4. Can Chris take control before he’s captured? Or will his armor lead the galaxy into tyranny?

last issue: War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4
next issue: War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
see also War of Kings #4 of 6

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #15
Nova #26
War of Kings #4 of 6
War of Kings: Savage World of Skaar #1 of 1

War of Kings: Who Will Rule #1 of 1

April 12, 2014

War of Kings - Who Will Rule 1 of 1Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
November 2009
****

The Kree-Shi’ar War has left a glowing tear in spacetime & a crisis of leadership in both empires. The former suggests a new plot direction for Marvel’s line of space epics; the latter adds much-needed dramatic thickener. But what leaps out from this epilogue is the chaos of an occupied territory.

continued from War of Kings #6 of 6

also indexed for Nov. ’09
Dark Reign: The List – The Avengers #1 of 1
The Fantastic Four #571
Guardians of the Galaxy #18
Nova #29

War of Kings #6 of 6

April 11, 2014

War of Kings 6 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
October 2009
***

The mini, mostly a by-the-numbers space opera, ends in a disappointing bout of super-fisticuffs that tears a rift in spacetime. But Pelletier has done yeoman’s work: he tells a story okay, & the rubbery quality of his late ’90s superhero style undercuts the preposterous hypertrophied bodies.

last issue: War of Kings #5 of 6
continued in War of Kings: Who Will Rule #1 of 1

also indexed for Oct. ’09
The Fantastic Four #570
Guardians of the Galaxy #17
Nova #28
War of Kings: Warriors #2 of 2

War of Kings #5 of 6

April 10, 2014

War of Kings 5 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
September 2009
****

The Shi’ar despot confronts the Kree monarch aboard a superweapon that will turn the galaxy Inhuman. This wooly space opera reaches its climax, but its best moments are in the hurly burly: a princess’s horror at the doomsday device, a super-alien’s war-fury, an X-Man’s hollow vengeance.

last issue: War of Kings #4 of 6
next issue: War of Kings #6 of 6

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #16
Nova #27
War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

War of Kings #3 of 6

April 8, 2014

War of Kings 3 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
July 2009
***

Good storytellers like Abnett & Lanning know to plot for the endgame, not the opening. In #3, they start to twist this mini in interesting ways. Romance buds in an arranged marriage; the Inhuman aristocracy hatches sinister plans for their subjects; & that mohawked Shi’ar superman turns renegade.

last issue: War of Kings #2 of 6
next issue: War of Kings #4 of 6

also indexed for Jul. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #14
Nova #25
War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4

War of Kings #2 of 6

April 7, 2014

War of Kings 2 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
June 2009
**

As the title indicates, royal houses go to war: two galactic empires who fight with starships, zero-g shock-troops & planet-annihilating bombs. Yet, unlike this crew’s other current SF comics, WoK feels padded out. Only a show of compassion by a princess demos their typical richness of character.

last issue: War of Kings #1 of 6
next issue: War of Kings #3 of 6

also indexed for Jun. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #13
Nova #24
War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4

War of Kings #1 of 6

April 6, 2014

War of Kings 1 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
May 2009
***

Context is all. Taken alone, WoK works through the hoary plot of a thousand space operas: a clash of galactic empires. And this issue simply shows an alien army attack a wedding arranged to consolidate two races. But w/ Marvel’s cosmic line behind it, this colorful super-battle feels momentous.

continued from Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1 of 1
next issue: War of Kings #2 of 6

also indexed for May ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #11
Guardians of the Galaxy #12
Nova #23
War of Kings: Darkhawk #1 of 2

New X-Men #132

November 17, 2012

Grant Morrison // Phil Jimenez
November 2002
****
Children of the late Magneto visit the toxic site of the Genoshan Sentinel massacre. Quicksilver & Toad erect a statue, while Polaris unearths a blackbox magno-recording of her father’s final words. Comic book allegory supplies the necessary distance for a respectful memorial to the 9/11 attacks.
[last issue: New X-Men #131]
[next issue: New X-Men #133]

X-Factor Annual #8

August 29, 2010

Peter David // Terry Shoemaker
July 1993
A-story: **
A damp coda to David’s X-Factor run (whose potential was undercut by unreliable art & editorial interference), introducing & then dispatching a new foe. Despite the space devoted to his backstory, he’s woefully generic: a mage who collects mutant souls for a demon.
[continued from X-Factor #89]
[last issue: X-Factor Annual #7]
[next issue: X-Factor Annual #9]

X-Factor #89

August 28, 2010

Peter David // Joe Quesada
April 1993
A-story: **** // B-story: ***
Citing the long delays & editorial meddling, David abandons X-Factor. Too bad: he’s finally partnered w/ a perfect artist in Joe Q, whose cartoon style adds to the comedy, pathos, & character work that David loves. And he’s mid-story: the team finally arrives in Genosha, where evil plots are afoot.
[continued in X-Factor Annual #7]
[last issue: X-Factor #88]
[next issue: X-Factor #90]

X-Factor #88

August 27, 2010

Peter David // Joe Quesada & Chris Batista
March 1993
A-story: **** // B-story: ***
David finally returns to his long-interrupted arc on mutant refugees, half a year later. They & X-Factor face a cigar-chomping satire of ’90s kewl mutant mercs whose muscle-bound body morphs to counter any opponent (Havok simply pays him off). A back-up gets cozy w/ Quicksilver & his estranged wife.
[last issue: X-Factor #87]
[next issue: X-Factor #89]

X-Factor #87

August 26, 2010

Peter David // Joe Quesada
February 1993
*****
Nearly out of the blue, a classic—arguably, the best single X-issue of the ’90s. The team gets mandatory counseling for PTSD: beneath their mutant angst, they display normal human neuroses. Rookie Quesada’s art helps, natch, his doe-eyes & floppy hair adding sensitivity to David’s intimate script.
[last issue: X-Factor #86]
[next issue: X-Factor #88]

X-Factor #86

August 25, 2010

Peter David // Jae Lee
January 1993
**
The crossover continues to crawl (tho’ it can only spare a page or two for X-Factor‘s regulars): the all-action force of Bishop, Cable & Wolvie literally sit around doing nothing! The only plot point is that Apocalypse cures Prof X of the technovirus using a bit of Kirbytech. I’ll miss Lee’s art.
[continued from Uncanny X-Men #286]
[continued in X-Men #16]
[last issue: X-Factor #85]
[next issue: X-Factor #87]

X-Factor #85

August 24, 2010

Peter David // Jae Lee
December 1992
**
The title team gets ignored by a hugger-mugger crossover, & PAD’s talent is wasted in dialoguing chaotic fights. At least Jae Lee’s shadowy, splattery style fits the subject matter. Razor-winged Archangel decapitates one evil mutant; another hamstrings Quicksilver; Wolvie steps btw. Bishop & Cable.
[continued from Uncanny X-Men #285]
[continued in X-Men #15]
[last issue: X-Factor #84]
[next issue: X-Factor #86]

X-Factor #84

August 23, 2010

Peter David // Jae Lee
November 1992
***
Jae Lee has a Sienkowicz-but-brutal style that would prob’ly fit X-Force better than -Fac. Luckily, #84 is also #2 of an x-over that sees this title’s g-men outfight the aggro X-Force while hunting for Cable (who shot Prof. X in Central Park). David finds the issue’s hook in Rahne, caught. btw. teams.
[continued from Uncanny X-Men #284]
[continued in X-Men #14]
[last issue: X-Factor #83]
[next issue: X-Factor #85]

X-Factor #83

August 22, 2010

Peter David // Mark Pacella
October 1992
***
After laying groundwork for a human-rights crisis in Genosha, the arc’s momentum stalls. Instead, #83 offers some character scenes as X-Fac chaperones mutant refugees in NYC. Except for the hate-crime in Central Park, the ish feels like a fill-in—it’s keeping time till next month’s big X-over.
[last issue: X-Factor #82]
[next issue: X-Factor #84]

X-Factor #82

August 21, 2010

Peter David // Rurik Tyler
September 1992
***
X-Factor get into a dockside melee w/ former members of Freedom Force (the govt. team that our heroes replaced a year ago). The pretext: a boatload of mutant refugees seeking asylum. It’s a nice idea, w/ Havok posturing as a liberal American milksop, but it’s short on details & buried by the action.
[last issue: X-Factor #81]
[next issue: X-Factor #83]

X-Factor #81

August 20, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
August 1992
***
David caps off this arc nicely w/ X-Fac facing a Wolverine foe in a DC Metro station. Plus he adds a dash of cynicism: Strong Guy, poisoned, argues for exchanging their witness for the antidote (rather than trust a govt. cure). In the subplot, Madrox gets his heart broken by his nutso music teacher.
[last issue: X-Factor #80]
[next issue: X-Factor #82]

X-Factor #80

August 19, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
July 1992
**
Even w/ Stroman’s atypical approach to superhero art, this ish is boilerplate. Our g-men, guarding a snitch, slug it out w/ an all-girl mutant gang (Hell’s Belles, great name). The small-town plot moves along, w/ the music teacher proving a femme fatale. And a dream sequence riffs on Wayne’s World.
[continued from X-Factor Annual #7]
[last issue: X-Factor #79]
[next issue: X-Factor #81]

X-Factor #79

August 18, 2010

Peter David // Jim Fern
June 1992
***
To compliment David’s book as the best X-mag of its era is only somewhat backhanded; he’s doing yeoman’s work. Quicksilver & Multiple Man play PI in a bigoted US town that suspects the young, coltish (blue) music teacher is a murderess. Subplots & comedic beats fill the issue out nicely.
[continued in X-Factor Annual #7]
[last issue: X-Factor #78]
[next issue: X-Factor #80]

X-Factor #78

August 16, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman & Brandon Peterson
May 1992
***
Applied comics conventions as a vehicle to explore ’90s politics: mutant terrorists assassinate a doc who can detect mutant DNA in utero. Tho’ the plot dances around abortion (& eugenics) w/o taking a side, the theme draws characters out in surprising ways, as both good guys & bad have dissenters.
[last issue: X-Factor #77]
[next issue: X-Factor #79]

X-Factor #77

August 15, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
April 1992
****
A recharged Stroman pencils some lovely layouts, esp. around Rahne. And David carries Claremont’s X-torch w/ deft character beats, a seamless take on the mutant world (#77 guests Cannonball & terrorist foes from X-Force) & even poli-philo like due process for super-criminals & fetal DNA tests.
[continued from The Incredible Hulk #392]
[last issue: X-Factor #76]
[next issue: X-Factor #78]

X-Factor #76

August 14, 2010

Peter David // Tom Raney & Kevin West
March 1992
***
As part of Uncle Sam’s clandestine support for a foreign despot, our mutant g-men face a tech-heavy superteam allied w/ the Hulk. But aside from some high-&-mighty moralizing on non-Western culture’s treatment of women (berserker Wolfsbane kills a murderer!), the ish is standard superhero tussle.
[continued from The Incredible Hulk #391]
[continued in The Incredible Hulk #392]
[last issue: X-Factor #75]
[next issue: X-Factor #77]

X-Factor #75

August 13, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
February 1992
**
The new X-Factor’s inaugural story ends, double-sized, in a rote slugfest. X-foe Mr. Sinister, his motives inscrutable as usual, bolsters the team’s cred by discrediting his own ally, an anti-mutant senator. Havok’s arc of accepting his role as mutant g-man (set up in #72) has been dropped. But David does keep probing the ramifications of Madrox’s power: a rogue dupe struggles to assert itself.
[continued in The Incredible Hulk #390]
[last issue: X-Factor #74]
[next issue: X-Factor #76]

X-Factor #74

August 11, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
January 1992
**
Tho’ #74 is mostly combat (the team topples the Wash. Monument!), David still advances his subplots, develops his characters, & unveils the arc’s villain: a right-wing senator working w/ Mr. Sinister. But Stroman’s art fails to show spatial relations & the ’90s line superfluities are starting to grate.
[last issue: X-Factor #73]
[next issue: X-Factor #75]

X-Factor #73

August 10, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
December 1991
***
Under the pop culture nods, #73 stages the team’s first battle: a brawl w/ Multiple Men! David is parodying the influential Claremont, adding a comedic tone to arcing plots, mystery villains, & angsty romances. Stro’s art, full of expressionist lines, works okay but he skimps on the Wash DC setting.
[last issue: X-Factor #72]
[next issue: X-Factor #74]

X-Factor #72

August 9, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
November 1991
***
Havok’s a straight leading man, uncomfy w/ his govt. role as he rekindles an old romance. In a subplot, Madrox has a dark night of the soul when a duplicate is killed. Stro’s faces are oddly rubbery but he lays a page out clearly. He also nails the slapstick that David wants to go w/ his banter.
[last issue: X-Factor #71]
[next issue: X-Factor #73]

X-Factor #71

August 8, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
October 1991
***
Defined by smart characters & a breezy tone, X-Factor stands out from the rest of the X-books, now overhauled to favor artists over writers. In this chatty riff on a team-building issue, Havok’s recruited to lead the new federal mutant super-squad, a motley crew of second bananas (Multiple Man?!).
[last issue: X-Factor #70]
[next issue: X-Factor #72]